Tucked away in Parkland on State Road 7 is The Whale Raw Bar & Fish House. The name is very similar to another popular seafood restaurant in Deerfield Beach The Whale’s Rib , but we found out there is no affiliation. We never knew this place was here until we saw it featured on the PBS show “Check Please…” and we decided to check it out ourselves.
There is outside seating overlooking a small pond in the back of the restaurant, but the weather was not cooperating so we sat inside. We were early for dinner and beat the crowd, so we were seated immediately at a booth. The inside of The Whale Raw Bar & Fish House is nicely decorated with a fishing theme taken to the max. Poor Shamu is stuffed and hanging from the ceiling and all kinds of fishing knick-knacks are along the walls. The bar is in the middle of the restaurant and is made to look as if you are outside, which is a nice touch. Colors are bright and the place looks clean.
The menu concentrates on seafood with lots of options and customization options. We were in the mood for comfort seafood, so we zeroed in on the fried options. Drinks were dropped off, but Jeff’s ice tea was a bit ‘off tasting’ so they quickly swapped it out for soda.
The soups came out first and a lot faster than we expected. Both were so hot we had to let them cool a bit before we dug in. Lobster Bisque cup ($4.95) – The cup size was generous and the soup was balanced with a nice lobster/seafood flavor, but we didn’t really find the large chunks of lobster promised on the menu.
New England Clam Chowder cup ($4.95) – We both really liked this soup and thought it was the better of the two. It was thick like a stew and packed with potatoes and large pieces of clams. The soup was a it rich, but the portion was perfect. We also heard you can ask them to mix the chowder and bisque, which sounded interesting.
Service was going well and out main entrees were out after maybe 15 minutes of finishing our soups.
Boca’s Fried Clams ($11.95). While we did see Ipswich pot belly clams on the menu, we stuck to strips. These were freshly fried and classically chewy as most are. They reminded us of most versions around town and felt they really didn’t stand out. They were ok, but only if you like that classic clam strip from when you were a kid. The whale fries are house made chips with some seasoning and were tasty. The whale sauce for dipping was a honey mustard based sauce. And sorry we were not fans of the whale fries. Really wish they had an option for regular French fries. Or even better, waffle fries.
Parkland’s Fish & Chips ($14.95) – Tempura-battered cod served with whale fries and coleslaw. The cod was meaty, but we found the batter could have been a little more crisp. Just a small oversight that could be easily corrected. The coleslaw was fresh but bland with the lack of any seasoning.
Overall, we found The Whale Raw Bar & Fish House restaurant was a good place to stop in for a local seafood craving. The large seafood offerings could be fun to explore and you could easily eat something new on each visit. Service was smooth and solid and while we did find some room for improvement, we would try them again.
The Whale Raw Bar & Fish House is located at 7619 N State Rd 7 Parkland FL 33073